Case Caption: George R. Simpson v. Myrna GoldenCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. 2010-0011Date: 02/09/2012Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In an appeal from a judgment awarding the defendant attorney's fees following dismissal of plaintiff's breach of contract suit based on what the Superior Court characterized as plaintiff's bad faith prosecution and the defendant's status as a prevailing party, the only grounds for appeal argued before this Court, namely, whether the initial dismissal of plaintiff's suit was valid, is time-barred. While plaintiff's motion to reconsider that dismissal tolled the 30-day period for filing a notice of appeal under Rule 5 of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court Rules, that motion was denied in 2005, and his right to appeal the dismissal lapsed 30 days later by operation of the Rule. Although the time limits in Rule 5 are claims processing provisions and not jurisdictional, because the timeliness issue was raised by the defendant in her brief before this Court, it has not been waived; thus, the notice of appeal from the 2005 ruling, filed in February of 2010, is time-barred and this Court will not exercise review of that ruling. In addition, because plaintiff has failed to present sufficient argument in his brief directly addressing the propriety or accuracy of the attorney's fees awarded, independent from his argument that the award is improper because the 2005 dismissal and all subsequent rulings of the Superior Court were purportedly invalid, he has waived and abandoned the attorney's fee award issue on appeal despite the fact that it was identified as an issue in his appellate brief. Accordingly, since plaintiff has waived the only issue on appeal that is not time-barred, the Superior Court's award of attorney's fees is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion